Top 3 Competition Essentials

How to Do an Off-Ice Warm-Up
How to Get the Most out of a Skating Competition

Even with a checklist of competition reminders, there are three essentials you should always double check right before you leave for a competition. The three most important things that a skater must have are skates, costume, and music.

1. Skates. Understandably, if you don’t have skates, you won’t be able to compete. Actually, that’s not entirely true. You could try rentals, but your skating would suffer greatly due to the lack of support and edges. You could buy new skates, but competition is about the worst place to try to break in new equipment. Finally, you could borrow someone else’s skates close to your foot size. I have actually seen skaters do this.

For example, when I was in Estonia for an international competition about 5 years ago, one of the ice dancers had lost her luggage. Since she was determined to skate, she borrowed her friend’s skates and used them for the competition. That hindered her skating, however, because the skates were slightly too large and she wasn’t used to the boot and blade.

While the circumstances were uncontrollable in that scenario, for local competitions, you can always have your skates in the car with you. If you have to fly, however, you often can’t carry on skates. Your options then are to either risk sending them though or overnight them by FedEx, UPS, etc. If you tend to forget to bring your skates, put them in an obvious place, such as in front of the door or in the car the day before.

2. Costume. While not as essential as skates, this item is still very important. Since most programs have a certain dress or outfit to go with the music, this is a very essential part of your competition appearance. Luckily, if all fails, usually there are costume vendors and you could purchase an outfit to closely suit your needs. However, the stress in scrambling to find an outfit in your size, appropriate for your program, and finding it in time will definitely up the stress level of your day.

3. Music. This is the final necessity for competitions. While your coach should have a backup copy of your music, that copy should only be used for last resorts such as music skipping. If you forget your music and the backup copy fails, then you will be unable to compete. The only other option is to somehow find a person who can purchase the original piece and re-edit your music before you compete. Once again, this option is much more work and stress than necessary.

As you can see, while just about any forgotten item can be salvaged, finding a way to skate under those circumstances can lead to a stressful and unproductive experience. So, don’t forget skates, costume, and music. Follow my checklist in the next article for a complete list of competition reminders.

How to Do an Off-Ice Warm-Up
How to Get the Most out of a Skating Competition
April 15, 2010